A little more than two weeks have passed since Superstorm Sandy barreled through the Township leaving in its wake more than 16,000 PSE&G and JCP&L customers without power and more than 700 downed trees. The morning after Sandy Township crews were out removing trees, opening roads and addressing problems that were under our jurisdiction. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same about the response from both of the utilities that service Wayne.
Once we were able to get the attention of PSE&G, their response improved and they were able to begin restoring power four days after Sandy hit. By the middle of the second week power had been restored to almost all of PSE&G’s customers. PSE&G supplies power to approximately 87 percent of the Township and we believe that this is the reason they responded in a much quicker fashion than JCP&L did.
Conversely, JCP&L supplies power to approximately 13 percent of the Township and it is our belief that this is the reason why the overwhelming majority of its customers were without power for 12 days. My administration did everything in its power, including visiting the JCP&L headquarters in Morristown, to get JCP&L to start the restoration process but it wasn’t until I spoke with the President of the company that things started to happen. This lack of response is unacceptable to us. That people were without power for almost 12 days is inexcusable. This is not the first time that we have experienced this lack of response and it is for that reason that we are exploring all options available to us to get JCP&L out of Wayne.
I have placed an online petition on the Township website and I am asking all of you to sign as soon as you can. The petition will be presented to the Board of Public Utilities as proof of our collective desire to remove JCP&L from Wayne. You can sign this petition by going to www.waynetownship.com.
Additionally, I am asking all of you to register for the Township’s “Emergency Notification Alert System.” This program allows us to send notifications via cell phone and email to those who register and is yet another way that we are able to keep you informed of emergent situations. This service is free and you can sign up by going to the Township’s homepage. Please help us help you by signing up for this service.
I would once again like to thank our volunteers for all of the help that they provided and our Township Employees who have not stopped since the beginning of the storm. The last two weeks have been difficult for all of us. The Township has and will continue to do whatever we can to return normalcy to our lives. I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.
Christopher P. Vergano